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Queensland Places – Dinmore

Dinmore, to the north-east of the city, was settled as early as the 1870s with development progressing more rapidly from the 1880s, as shown by the opening of a railway station in 1884 and the establishment of a post office a year later. As well, the Dinmore area has been home to several large collieries [...]

Digitised @SLQ – iconic Black Friday poster

‘Australia’ draws back the Queensland curtain to reveal the Black Friday strike in 1912. This iconic poster by James Thomas Case has been digitised recently at SLQ. The poster is a reproduction of Jim Case’s cartoon from the front page of the Worker. Case’s depiction of a shocked maiden, ‘Australia’, drawing back the Queensland curtain [...]

17th December 1887 – a significant day for Queensland

Guest blogger: Thom Blake – John Oxley Library Fellow and historian So what is special about that day? You will not find it mentioned in any histories of Queensland, list of significant dates or in the newspaper headlines for that day or week. But in the central western town of Barcaldine, an extraordinary event occurred [...]

Sudden deluge swamps Brisbane – January 1941

A sudden deluge hit the inner suburbs of Brisbane on the afternoon of January 18, 1941, in what the Sunday Mail described as “the fiercest one-hour storm in the city’s history”. The Weather Bureaus rain gauge recorded 336 points (85mm) in less than an hour. In the eastern suburb of Hawthorne, 604 points (153mm) was [...]

Queensland Places – History of Golden Gate

The town of Golden Gate developed late in the period of the Croydon gold rush, but once it was surveyed and settled, it was to become one of the area’s most important centres.  Golden Gate was officially surveyed on 11 April 1893, however some buildings were already in place by that time. The first Golden [...]

Digitised @SLQ – Boer War Diary describes Queensland troops’ movements

A newly digitised Boer war diary of the 5th Queensland Imperial Bushmen by Major F.W. Toll shows “actual movements and marches of the unit whilst attached to Genl. Plumers’column” from April 1901 through May 1902.  It is  in the John Oxley Library as part of Collection OM84-11. The Toll diary immediately transports one through time [...]

Heritage listing for the Cairns Technical College and High School building

Guest blogger – Susan Boulton, Queensland State Archives The Queensland Heritage Council listed the Cairns Technical College and High School building on the Queensland Heritage Register in May 2014. Designed by architect Nigel Laman Thomas of the Department of Public Works in July 1938, the following plan held at Queensland State Archives shows the layout [...]

Scottish Adventurers on the Darling Downs

An interesting story was recently uncovered when a client enquiry requesting information about a couple of Scotsmen grew into a tale of courage and success. John and George Gammie left their homeland in Scotland, in search of wealth, adventure and a new life. After searching resources held at the State Library of Queensland, a picture [...]

Election 2015 : we need your help again

It’s election time again and once again we need your help to ensure we have a comprehensive collection of election ephemera. State Library has significant collections of ephemera.  This material, which is generally regarded by most of us as transient or “throw away” items, provides a unique perspective into Queensland’s social life, popular culture and [...]

Queensland Places – Burketown

The town of Burketown, located on the Albert River, on the Gulf of Carpentaria, has a long and interesting history. In 1841, Captain J. Lort Stokes discovered the mouth of a river which he named the Albert, after Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s consort. Stokes’ party travelled in a longboat along this newly discovered river for [...]

Research station recognised for posterity

Guest blogger: Susan Boulton, Queensland State Archives In August 2014, the Meringa Sugar Experiment Station was entered on the Queensland Heritage Register as a State Heritage Place. The Station played a crucial role in developing Australian sugar cane varieties and today it continues valuable agricultural research and technological innovations. Situated north of the town of [...]


2014 was another busy year for John Oxley Library staff involved in web archiving. Each year we select several hundred Queensland websites and online publications to be preserved for future generations. These are captured by us and made publicly available in PANDORA – Australia’s web archive. PANDORA was established by the National Library of Australia [...]

Queenslanders celebrate NYE, 1934

On the evening of December 31, 1934, partygoers across the state prepared to celebrate the coming of the new year, as illustrated in The Queenslander newspaper (above). As with most years, 1934 had its high and low moments on the domestic scene and overseas. In March, 75 lives were lost when a cyclone crossed the [...]

80th anniversary – First women’s international cricket test match was played in Brisbane

On 28 December, 1934, Queensland hosted the very first women’s international cricket test match. This historic match, Australia vs England, was played at the Brisbane Exhibition Grounds over three days. From their arrival by the Kyogle train on 20 December until they left on 1 January, the English team had a busy schedule, conducting radio [...]

Podcast: Modern designs in Brisbane (A night in the JOL)

Learn about two of Brisbane’s most influential modern design businesses with architects Eddie Codd and Robert Riddel. Craftsman’s Market, which opened in Toowong in the 1960s, and West’s Furniture Emporium, active during the 50s in Fortitude Valley, brought cutting-edge European design to Brisbane. Hear stories about the designs, the local interpretations and the legacies of [...]

Queensland Government Steam Yacht Lucinda

Guest blogger: Jo Seccombe – Senior Reference Archivist, Queensland State Archives 150 years ago this month, the QGSY Lucinda steamed from Dumbarton, Scotland bound ultimately for Queensland. This extract from the Chief Engineer’s log records an estimated 80 tons of coal on board for the journey on 30 December 1884. The QGSY Lucinda arrived in Brisbane [...]

Podcast: The Medical Front (A night in the JOL)

Medicos from Queensland played significant roles during the First World War. The John Oxley Library features holdings such as the Marks Family Papers, which include the letters and photographs of three brothers who served as doctors throughout the bloody conflicts of Gallipoli and the Western Front. Captain A.G. Butler from Kilcoy, Regimental Medical Officer with [...]

Queensland Places – Normanton – Normanton State School

The history of the Normanton State School began with a public meeting of local residents on 14 February 1879, called to promote the establishment of a school for the area. Government approval was eventually given, subject to the local community providing a fifth of the total cost to construct the school buildings. After some delays [...]

Accession 6341: Dr Wilhelm Lorenz Rechnitz Papers, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

In 2006 the State Library of Queensland received an extensive collection of correspondence, personal papers, photographs and scholarly articles of Dr Wilhelm Rechnitz (1899-1979). Wilhelm Lorenz Rechnitz was a German citizen born in Cottbus, southeast of Berlin, on 24 October 1899. In the mid 1930s he was living in England, working as a teacher and [...]

Paula Stafford, Henry Talbot and Spike Milligan

Guest bloggers: Nadia Buick and Madeleine King from The Fashion Archives Paula Stafford—the Gold Coast fashion designer responsible for introducing the bikini to our beaches in the mid 20th century, and putting Queensland fashion on a global stage—was an impressive record keeper, with seemingly every new business venture, every new ad campaign, and every new swimsuit [...]

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